IRVINE, KY (WAVE) - An Estill County teenager who's battling cancer got an early birthday gift just days before he turns 16: A large mailbox to accommodate his other wish -- as many birthday cards as will fit inside of it.
WLEX-TV, the NBC affiliate in Lexington, reported that Aaron Stamper's family has experienced its share of tragedy over the last three years.
"There's days I don't know if we can get through it or not," Aaron's mother Diane Stamper told the news station. "But we just have people pray for us."
In April 2014, Aaron was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic t-cell 2 leukemia just two days before his 13th birthday.
One year later, Aaron's 19-year-old brother Ethan died in a car crash.
"I'm dreading it very much because we need to celebrate Aaron's birthday, but at the same time, we'll be celebrating the anniversary for (Ethan's) death, too," their mother said.
Kentucky State Trooper Robert Purdy heard about the boy's wish and Thursday, he took matters into his own hands, and tweeted out the result:
Diane Stamper said she wants to make Aaron's 16th birthday special on Sunday by granting his small request for cards.
"I just like to collect them," Aaron told WLEX. "When I get older, I want to put them in a book so I can remember them all, remember how hard things were."
His mother said each card gives Aaron the courage to keep fighting.
"It would mean a great deal to know it would bring him joy," Diane Stamper said.
Birthday cards can be sent to Aaron at his home at 2795 Pea Ridge Road, Irvine, KY 40336.